Sunday, May 31, 2009

upon the first day of the week...

Today we gathered together with our brothers and sisters in Christ to sing songs of praise, to pray prayers of thanksgiving, and to partake of the Lord's Supper. We came together to worship the one true God; to edify one another; to build one another up.

Amidst the joys of being with fellow Christians was the sadness that came about from the list of those suffering. Members who lost loved ones; members who have relatives in the hospital struggling for their lives; planned surgeries; complications from surgeries; brain tumor rupturing. The list seemed endless.

As humans, our first response is to ask "Why?" "Why is there suffering? Why is sickness and sadness happening to such good people?" "God, why did you allow a 7 year old to have a brain tumor?" "Why? Why? Why?"

As Christians we must look beyond the "WHYs" We must remember that we are God's creation. God set life into motion and while His plan is not always clear to us, it is known to Him. HE is in control of all things. And while we may not understand 'Why' sickness and death occur, we must remember that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28).

Life on earth is full of struggles and trials. We all will be faced with sadness from illness or the death of a loved one...

But, we can find comfort in our God.

..and be not grieved and for the joy of your Lord is your strength. {Neh.8:10}

He does not stray from us in our time of need.

3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 6If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. {2 Corinthians 1:3-7}

He is always near to hear our prayers.

The Lord is close to those who are of a broken heart and saves such as as crushed with sorrow. {Psalm 34:18}

And while the pain and sadness may seem too much to bear, peace can be found in God.

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. {Psalm 30:5b}
Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me. {Psalm 23:4}

And if we follow the commands of the Lord, we have the hope of an eternal life in heaven where suffering and death will be no more.

and he shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more: the first things are passed away. {Revelation 21:4}

So on this first day of the week, let us humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord, offering up prayers to our heavenly Father for the comfort of those suffering, peace for the loved ones, and contentment for all in knowing that God is in control.